1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Featured A hypothetical question...

Discussion in 'Christian Debate Forum' started by shnarkle, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    Given that the bible speaks of "vessels fitted for destruction", I'd like to ask what other's would do if it was revealed to them by God Himself that they were one of these vessels.

    At this point, it should be obvious that to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" is no longer an option. So what would you do?

    Would you continue on as if this revelation didn't really matter?

    Would you continue to behave as a Christian?

    Would you continue to raise your children in a Christian home?

    Would you continue to attend your local church?

    Would you continue to receive communion?

    Would you continue to attend church functions and fellowship?

    OR...

    would you just say: "screw this, I might as well just go do whatever the H, E, double chopsticks I please. What's the point in trying to be a good Christian if I'm just going to hell anyways?"

    I would also like to know what the factors are in your decision to do whatever it is you would decide.

    I do not want to know what you would do if the situation were any different than I have just described in the original question, nor am I interested in anything along the lines of "Oh, God would never do something like this in the first place so this is as stupid question." This is a hypothetical question, but I'm not the first one to ask these types of questions. Jesus and Paul both ask hypothetical questions, and make hypothetical statements so I'm in good company with this one.
     
  2. Born_Again

    Born_Again Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes Received:
    153
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    The verse you are referring to is as follows:

    Romans 9:22(ESV)
    22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (emphasis added)

    Notice the "What if". This is not necessarily saying God creates such creatures/ people for destruction. The verse itself is a hypothetical. This in itself is a whole other debate waiting to happen.

    Really, if you think about it, we were created sinners. So, really we were already created for destruction. We have to choose to come to Christ when we are accountable.
     
  3. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    shnarkle: I don't see what you're emphasizing. Why do you include this parenthetical remark? Yes, this is exactly what I am referring to.

    shnarkle: Yes, I noticed that Paul says, "what if". This is why I pointed out that I was asking a hypothetical question and also pointed out that Jesus and Paul both ask these kinds of hypothetical questions. I am not posting this topic of why they make hypothetical questions. The topic of this post is specifically the content of the hypothetical question that I (and Paul) asked. I don't know why, but for some reason people seem to think it is much more important to restate the question, and point out that it is a hypothetical question than to actually answer the question.

    shnarkle: I don't know what you're talking about given that the bible states that after creating Adam that he was not just good like everything else he had created up to that point, but "very good". Adam and Eve chose to sin; they were not created as sinners, or created to sin.

    More importantly, as I am more interested in the topic of this post rather than any other topics that people feel entitled to introduce into this potential discussion; I find it rather interesting to say the least, and disturbing to say the most that Christians are so reluctant to address this question. I can understand why given that the prospect is quite unpleasant to contemplate, but this only spotlights that they are still sucking on the mother's milk of the gospel and haven't grown enough to answer a simple question posed by Paul.

    However, in the last decade or so that I have been asking this question. I've found that atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and just plain ol' everyday turds have no problem answering this question. In my humble opinion about 40-50% answer the question quite admirably. I would go so far as to say that they answer the question correctly. I've only had one Christian answer the question in over ten years. Just in case you're wondering, you aren't who I am referring to due to the fact that you simply restated the question, pointed out that it was a hypothetical question(restating the title of this post) and then proceeded to ignore it altogether by stating that 'we have to choose to come to Christ when we are accountable'.
     
  4. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,765
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I can understand why no one cares for the question. You're asking a question that is an impossibility. Paul's hypothetical was based on truth. Your's is based on something that can not happen.

    But...if it did, I would be horrified. I would not be able to sleep. Panic and anxiety would grip me. The thought that I could not turn to Jesus Christ anymore and expect Him to hear me and act on my behalf, would destroy me. I would be too depressed to eat. I wouldn't be able to do the Christian things you mentioned. I would be in severe grief and die early.

    Sorry those wern't on your list, but that is the way I would react.

    Stranger
     
  5. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    I'm not following what your saying. My question is Paul's question. If you're saying that it is impossible that you could be a vessel of wrath; that would be beside the point. If you're saying that it is impossible for God to reveal to men his will then I would disagree as all of scripture is divinely revealed. Moreover, there are numerous examples of exactly the same scenario I just described: Jonah being one of the most notorious examples. Granted it isn't an exact copy in that Jonah proclaimed the possibility of being spared destruction. However, Paul's example of Pharoah and Esau are good enough; Sodom and Gehmorah are also appropriate. Peter's revelation that the couple was holding money from the sale of their property is also another one. How about Adam and Eve? A prime example of God telling them what would happen "IF" (a hypothetical situation), not to mention the fact that as they became aware of what they had done, they realized that they were in serious trouble. Their actions seem more in line with what I would expect from most people. Not only that, but unless you're claiming that everyone in the world is saved, it is necessarily not an impossibility. You didn't actually defend your assertions with any reasons hence the necessity for me to grasp at what you might possibly have meant by your response. However, it is interesting that even though "fear and trembling" are recommended for those who do have the possibility of salvation; this is something that we would do even if it would serve no purpose whatsoever. I guess my follow up question would be to ask if Paul's recommendation is something that you don't see any need for under your present conditions (e.g.you are saved, or undergoing that process). If not, then why not? If so, then again I'd have to ask why you feel that the question is an impossibility?

    Thanks for answering the question stranger. Those are all reactions that I would expect from a devout Christian. It is truly a horrific question to ponder, and I appreciate that you didn't answer from the list I provided; it was just as an example of possible answers. I appreciate your originality as well, and must confess that my response to the question is quite similar as well.
     
  6. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,265
    Likes Received:
    1,035
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Job 13:15 KJV
    Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
     
  7. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,765
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Yes it is impossible for the Christian to be a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction. That is an eternal end result thing. Just like we are vessels of mercy prepared unto glory is an eternal result. So for God to turn to a Christian and tell them they are now a vessel of wrath is impossible.

    God certainly does reveal His will to man. But He doesn't change His mind as to who the saved elect are. And that is what would have to happen for Him to make a Christian a vessel of wrath.

    Jonah was certainly under the judgement of God, but never was he disowned by God. He was never a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction.

    Concerning Pharoah, I would say he never knew he was a vessel of wrath. We know it because God tells us so here in the Scriptures. All He knew is that he needed to let Israel go or God, who he didn't believe in anyway, was going to get him. Concerning Esau, he was not told he was a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction. He simply counted his birthright to the firstborn as nothing. God hated him of course, but again, we know it because we are told it here in Scripture. Esau wasn't told it. He just proved why God would hate him.

    Adam and Eve certainly knew they messed up. But they never were called vessels of wrath. They were always the children of God. They were believers. Adam believed the promise of a redeemer to Eve. And Eve believed the same. They were vessels of mercy like you and I.

    I don't quite understand your next to last question. Your last question I may have answered it and not know it. Let me know.

    Your welcome. I'm not as devout as I should be. I'm certainly a vessel of 'mercy'. Cause I need it.

    Stranger
     
  8. 7angels

    7angels Active Member

    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    88
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    oh i like you. you like to think for yourself and not go with the flow. well what you ask almost happened and did happen literally in the bible. God was fed up with isreal in the desert that He almost wiped them out and was going to start a new until moses interceded for them and saved their lives. also what about when God actually did do it to isreal by sending poisonous snakes to kill them until moses again interceded and built a brass snake and all who looked it were saved. moses saved isreal so many times. how about those civilizations wiped out by isreal or those 5 nations God left just so isreal would have someone they could teach future generations on how to fight. how about all those times isreal forgot God and followed after other idols and God let other nations do what they wanted with them.

    the bible tells you how those people felt in various ways. the bible is full of it actually. both good feelings when God is being obeyed and bad feelings when God turned His back on you. so if you want to know exactly what it feels like then imagine yourself if their shoes then these things are happening.

    God bless
     
  9. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    The problem with this assertion is that it begs the question. I'm not asking if it is possible for God to take the elect saved believer and pluck him from the mansion God has built for him for all eternity, an eternity he's been enjoying in blissful joy for the last umpteen gazillion years. I'm asking the exact same question Paul is asking. The hypothetical question Paul is asking is part of his argument. He's pointing out that even if this is the case, it doesn't negate the righteousness of God. Moreover, there will be those who will stand before God and he'll say, "I never knew you". It is clear from that context that they are going to be quite surprised to hear this news. They are going to be self proclaimed Christians. As I mentioned earlier Paul's instructions to work out our salvation with fear and trembling is enough to cause any honest God fearing Christian to examine themselves a little closer. The hypothetical question Paul asks is one that spotlights the possibility of damnation, but just important is the fact that all are worthy of damnation. In that context my question is anything but an impossibility.

    I'm only repeating what Paul plainly stated. He's talking about God showing his wrath. John is shown God's wrath as well, but even though what he is shown is from the "end", it doesn't negate the fact that it was revealed to him long before the end. It doesn't negate my question either.

    You're addressing a different question now; not the one I actually asked. It should go without saying that if this situation were to happen, it would necessarily follow that you were mistaken in your assumptions that you were a saved Christian. I know that this can be a hard situation to fathom, but nonetheless, restating the question according to a completely different situation isn't answering the question.

    This is all pure speculation. God uses whomever He will for His purposes. Jonah could be a vessel fit for wrath, and there's nothing that he could have done about it. The example of Jonah is actually very close to Paul's question because when one thinks about why Jonah is so repulsed by this request, it isn't just that the people of Ninneva are enemies; they are the enemies of Israel that are going to be the agent to annihilate and take into bondage. This is equivalent to knowing or having God reveal that you are a vessel fitted for destruction. Perhaps even worse. This would be more like being told that all Christian are vessels fitted for God's wrath.

    This is all beside the point. These examples are merely to show that God does destine people for wrath. The fact that he also reveals his plans to people certainly makes my question more than legitimate, not to mention possible. I'm simply asking if you happened to have this revealed to you, what would you do, how would you react etc.

    All of the questions are basic examples of what many Christians do. If these are things that you do, would you continue to do them with this revelation? Think about this for a moment: If you continue to attend church services, bible studies, etc. You'd be in a group of people who are also destined for eternal bliss as well as some headed for eternal damnation. They don't know what their fate is, at least not all of them anyways. Some may be just as certain as you were prior to your revelation; perhaps you can even tell that they're destined for hell and just don't know it yet. You probably wouldn't tell them that you were destined for hell, or maybe you would who knows?
     
  10. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    Abraham's Q & A with God over the fate of Sodom and Gehmorrha is probably the best example of what you're talking about with Moses and God. You make a good point though, and I think one of the worst examples is with Jonah being tasked with preaching repentance to the people who are destined to take Israel into bondage. This is tantamount to having God reveal to you that everyone in your church is going to hell. I can see why Jonah would react the way he did, but the real question is what would you do?
     
  11. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,765
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Your'e not asking the same question at all. You suggested that a Christian could be told he was no longer saved and was a vessel fitted for destruction. Which is an impossibility. When God says "I never knew you" it means never. You were never saved. If one comes to Christ as Lord and Saviour, he is saved, forever. Else, eternal life isn't eternal.

    I'm not addressing a different question. I'm just showing how yours is not a valid question. You're not asking the same thing Paul is. Scripture is clear about how to be saved. If one comes to Christ as his Lord and Saviour, then he is indeed saved forever. Else God is just lying to us and playing games. Which is what your question suggests.

    You say 'if this situation were to happen'. That is the point, it cannot happen.

    Concerning Jonah, your'e the one assuming many things. God dealt with Jonah as a prophet, as a believer, as a child of God. That involves discipline many times. That in no way makes one a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction.

    What I said about Pharoah is not beside the point. Pharoah was a vessel of wrath. Big difference. I never said God didn't make vessels of wrath. He most assuredly does. What I said is that the believer who has accepted Christ as his Saviour, can never be one of those.

    If there are any in the Bible study or Church service that have not come to Christ, then they are lost. If they pretend they have, but have not, then they are lost. The ones who have come to Christ are saved, and know it. And can be assured their place in Heaven with the Lord.

    Are you doubtful of your salvation? Do you want others to be doubtful of theirs?

    Stranger
     
  12. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    Ah, I see. So you're claiming that my question suggests that God is lying to us and playing games? That's what you get out my question? Again, this isn't answering my question at all. You simply aren't even addressing it in the first place. Scripture should always be compared with scripture. One need always look at each passage within the context of the books as a whole. Jesus Himself even declares that we do not choose him, but it is He Who chooses us. Again this is right in line with Paul's doctrine of election. There is absolutely nothing in scripture that states a degenerate, depraved, defiled, destined to hell openly defiant fallen soul is willing, much less even capable to repent and believe the gospel.

    Everyone is spiritually dead and the dead can't do much of anything except sin of course. The flesh is not only incapable of repenting and believing the gospel, it wouldn't matter if it could as Paul plainly states that the flesh cannot please God in the first place. That is what is impossible. God is the One Who does the calling. God is the One Who does the choosing. God is the One Who reveals the utter and complete depravity of the human condition. God is the One Who places the regenerated heart into this "new creature". God is the One Who sends His spirit of repentance. God is the One Who does the Saving. There is no believing without any of this in the first place.

    So what's my point? My point is that you're making my point for me in that the process of salvation you just outlined is the exact opposite one that scripture presents. No on comes to Christ as their Lord and Savior. No one comes to Christ. It is the Father who draws them to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and it is exclusively by the will of the Holy Spirit "The Spirit goes where HE WILLS...etc." and it has nothing to do with what you or any other dead person thinks that they believe. Why? Because we're all dead prior to God's will to revive whomever He wills for His own purposes. So you see you are actually a prime candidate to answer this hypothetical question. Perhaps this is actually an example of "methinks the stranger doth protest too much..."

    Having said that, it makes little difference if you're saved or not to answering my question. I'm simply asking you if the situation were as I've outlined, what would you do. Pretty simple. You chose instead to change the topic and discuss something altogether irrelevant which I respectfully addressed. Perhaps you could show me the same respect as well.


    You might want to look up the definition of a conditional statement. Conditional statements point to the fact that it actually is a definite possibility. Paul's question actually points to the fact that even if it were the case it doesn't change the fact that God is justified and righteous. So his question is most definitely stated as if it were the case.

    There is really nothing to suggest that God's revelations to Balaam, Jonah, Saul, Pilate's wife, and many others indicated that damnation was an impossibility. God's revelation through Peter to those who thought they could get away with their lies was instantaneous judgement. Are you suggesting that they weren't sincere believers? What were they doing in the church in the first place if they weren't sincere in their belief?



    Jonah not only didn't believe God, he went as far as to inform on himself that the storm was his fault and that he be thrown overboard so that he might thwart God's will He would rather die than fulfill God's purpose. The text refers to his descent into the deep as "sheol" i.e. the grave;"hell".

    He was in open rebellion against God. What makes one a vessel of wrath is God's purpose alone. What if God should make known his wrath on Jonah to show His mercy on Nineveh? No, it is you who is making the assumptions. Even after Jonah has reluctantly fulfilled God's will, all he can do is sulk and angrily pray for death. When God sends him a gourd to shade him from the sun. Jonah doesn't thank God like a believer would. No, he thanks the gourd itself choosing to recognize the creation rather than the Creator (see Paul's letter to the Romans chapter 1). He is in open defiant rebellion against God.

    Again, Balaam was clearly no believer. He was quite literally a prophet for profit, and yet God revealed the future through him and his gift. This is one of the great and glaring misconceptions with people who think that they're saved. They think that just because they believe that they're saved, they must be saved. They think that just because they've stated that they believe that Christ is their savior they're saved as if to claim that they can manipulate the Holy Spirit in the same manner one would a demon. They think that because they have this gift from God Himself they must be saved. They see all of the blessings that he's bestowed upon them and they think they must be saved. This is not what scripture states though. When scripture points out that Jesus never knew these people, what do they respond with? They point to their works and the gifts God gave them. But these are not what these self proclaimed Christians needed to document they were truly Christians. They needed fruit, and fruit is the product of a systemic process that can never originate with the fruit, or the bud break, or the stems, or the branches. That is what is impossible.


    Sorry, but there is no difference between vessels of wrath and vessels of wrath. Again, you should either review what it is that I actually asked or just give up and move on.


    And I just pointed out from scripture that hell will be full of all of them because they believe that they are capable of coming to Christ in the first place. It is God that does the electing, and it has nothing to do with anything that we do or think or believe. We can know God only insofar as we are known of Him; the rest are truly strangers...
     
  13. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,765
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    shnarkle

    Why do you make my post appear as yours and yours as mine? Not that I blame you.

    Again, you are not asking the same question Paul asks. And that is what you said. See again your post #9. You changed the question.

    There is something one can do to be saved. Come to Christ. If one comes to Christ he will be saved. Those who place faith in Jesus Christ are saved. And they can and do have that assurance. No amount of assuming on your part will change it.

    Election is God's business. Not ours. He doesn't tell you or me who the elect are. He simply tells us to present the Gospel. When one believes the Gospel, comes to Christ they are saved. Then we know they too are elect of God. And God never changes that decision. Just because God has His elect does not nullify the way He chose for one to enter into eternal life. And when one comes that way, they are saved, never to be identified as vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. Your question is flawed.

    Paul's question deals with those who are vessels of wrath. Not with those who are Christian. So it makes all the difference in the world whether you are speaking of one who is saved or not. Your question doesn't make that distinction. In fact you lead people to believe they can be Christian but not elect. Your question is flawed.

    Again, nothing wrong with Paul's question. Plenty wrong with yours.

    If you want to cite examples in Scripture, give the Scripture.

    Again, Jonah was not a vessel of wrath. 'Vessel of wrath' is one who is never a believer. Again, this is why your question, your assumption, is flawed.

    There will be no one in Hell or the Lake of Fire who accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour. No one.

    Staighten up your next post to identify you and I correctly. I won't respond otherwise.

    Stranger
     
  14. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    All you're doing is changing the given situation of my question. I'm not saying that this hypothetical question is of a saved bible believing Christian losing his salvation; you are. You're changing what the parameters of the question are altogether. This is why I made a point to ask that people who choose to reply to please refrain from restating the question a completely different way; I'm not interested in your answers to questions I never asked. Obviously for God to reveal this to you would automatically mean that you were never saved; you just thought you were. What Christians do when they see this question is they automatically think that this is impossible because God would never condemn me to hell because I believe he is my lord and savior. Again, I have to point out that there will be many who will be wailing and gnashing their teeth at the judgement seat of Christ. You're simply getting a head start, that's all...
     
  15. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,765
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    No, your question is flawed. There is no such thing as one who trusts Christ not being one of the elect. And as one of the elect, they will never be a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction. I'm not changing the parameters, I just recognize what you are trying to say.

    Which judgement seat of Christ are you talking about?

    Stranger
     
  16. 7angels

    7angels Active Member

    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    88
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    stranger according to your view of who the elect are then according to scripture there are people(elect) who will call Jesus Lord and cast out demons and heal people but still Jesus will say depart from me you workers of sin. matt 7:21-23.

    stranger explanation of the elect
    Election is God's business. Not ours. He doesn't tell you or me who the elect are. He simply tells us to present the Gospel. When one believes the Gospel, comes to Christ they are saved. Then we know they too are elect of God. And God never changes that decision. Just because God has His elect does not nullify the way He chose for one to enter into eternal life. And when one comes that way, they are saved, never to be identified as vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. Your question is flawed.

    if your definition is correct then matt 7:21-23 you had better black out because it is one scripture that speaks differently. because there are examples in scripture of people trying to cast of devils and the devil replied who are you? paul i know, Jesus i know but who are you? then proceeded to beat them up. these types of people were not the elect as you call them but elect wannabes. this subject can go further if you decide to do a study on OSAS but that is for another time.

    God bless
     
  17. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,765
    Likes Received:
    1,998
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Not so. Those in Matt. (7:21-23) never came to Christ as their Lord and Saviour. They were never born-again. They were false prophets. See the verses before. (Matt.7:15-20) They were never the elect of God.

    Jesus never knew them. They were never saved. They were never the elect. I don't see the problem.

    There is no need for me to black out any Scripture.

    Understand also that these verses, as the whole Sermon on the Mount, (Matt.5-7) speak to the 'kingdom of heaven'. That earthly kingdom of God to come on the earth. It is not speaking directly to the Church. We the church can make application here, as I have.

    Stranger
     
  18. 7angels

    7angels Active Member

    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    88
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    sorry i posted in red so i could hit your points. i still don't know how to separate the quote yet :D

    God bless
     
  19. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    This isn't a "once saved always saved" question. This has to do with someone who is not omniscient. This is a question aimed at someone who does not have foreknowledge of all future events. Evidently, from what you're claiming; this really isn't a question for you.
     
  20. shnarkle

    shnarkle New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    34
    I don't know how to use the quotes either. I'm not all that concerned with who said what, but rather what is being said. Having said that, what follows is probably not in regards to what you've posted so far.

    One of the issues that seems to rear it's head almost immediately is that of "once saved always saved" This isn't the immediate point of my question. While it can have some relevance, it usually just serves as a reason for people to respond that my question is impossible. The fact is that Paul points out, albeit not all that clearly; that even if this were the case, it would not make God unjust. This is what people can't seem to see.

    The point of my question is dealing with a different aspect of Paul's question, i.e. "what would you do under these circumstances?" Instead of answering the question as presented, the vast majority of people choose to respond to the question as if this isn't the situation at all. They would rather answer the question as if I'd asked what they would do if they were actually the elect and this happened. I'm not asking that question. Yet they seem overwhelmed with a sense of duty to inform me that I don't know the question I actually asked. Go figure.

    The insolence of some people is astounding. I presented a given hypothetical situation, e.g. You are damned to hell; a vessel fitted for destruction. What do I get in response? I get the churlish and indignant cry of some infant that has just been told that they need a bath, or to finish their homework, or that they need to go to bed as it is way past their bedtime. I get this: "NO, I'm not damned to hell" Again, evidently it can't be emphasized enough that this is a hypothetical question. Perhaps on second thought what needs to be emphasized is that some people just need to work on their reading comprehension skills a little more...
     
Loading...